It wasn’t exactly beach volleyball weather on Wednesday morning, when the City of Prince George announced the opening of the newest sports facility at Carrie Jane Gray Park.
The park now hosts three competition-level beach volleyball courts, capable of hosting provincial and regional-level tournaments, according to information released by the city.
“Council is very pleased to have these new tournament-ready beach volleyball courts ready for action well in time for the BC Summer Games in July,” Mayor Lyn Hall said in a statement issued on Wednesday. “We are pleased that we are already seeing important legacies from the BC Games in Prince George and that residents will be able to benefit and begin using the facility right away.”
Construction of the courts involved bringing in 562 tonnes of fine granite sand from Redwater, Alta.
The project was completed on time and on budget, according to a statement released by the city. The total cost was $250,000, of which $237,500 was paid through a grant from the Community Works Fund of the Union of B.C. Municipalities. The remaining $12,500 came from city reserves.
The courts, located at 2122 Del Laverdure way next to the YMCA of Northern B.C., will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, May through September (weather permitting).
The courts are open on a drop-in, first-come basis, except when the courts are booked for tournaments.
The three courts are 18 metres long by nine metres wide to accommodate recreational play, which is slightly larger than the 16 m by 8 m regulation size.
"This facility is extremely exciting for Prince George," Tourism Prince George CEO Colin Carson said in a statement issued on Wednesday. “Sport hosting is a huge economic drive in our community and these courts will allow us to be aggressive in bidding on more events.”
Carson previously played varsity volleyball at Thompson Rivers University and played professionally overseas.
“The Prince George Youth Volleyball Club has a very strong indoor program, which sees multiple players graduate and continue to varsity programs each year,” he added. “Now, there's an excellent opportunity to develop beach players and give local athletes the opportunity to play volleyball year-round."
A recreational-only beach volleyball court is available at Lheidli T'enneh Park.